Juventus goalkeeper Gigi Buffon defended AC Milan striker Mario Balotelli after his red card for Italy.

The striker was sent off for two bookings in three minutes during Friday night's 0-0 World Cup qualifier in the Czech Republic.

"Everyone tries to make him lose his cool," explained Buffon on Sky Sport Italia.

"He is such a strong, marauding player and so crucial for us that opponents find it's the only way to stop him."

The goalkeeper also commented on Italy teammate Daniele De Rossi, who could be considering a move away from Roma and Serie A.

"I hope Daniele can choose the club that will give him the most joy. Whether it's Roma or somewhere else, only he knows that. These are tough decisions to make."